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You'll need a COVID vaccine to sit inside this Denver bar

Bar Max was only open for takeout until Friday.

DENVER — A cocktail bar on East Colfax Avenue In Denver is now requiring customers to show proof of vaccination before drinking inside the business.

"We would like to see that you have either had two shots or you have had at least a week since your one shot," said Marshall Smith, owner of Bar Max. 

Until Friday Bar Max was only open for takeout. Customers had not been allowed to sit inside for a year. The business has offered to-go cocktails and a small menu of food since the start of the pandemic. 

"I have health risk, my parents are older and both have health risk, and it just wasn’t worth it until we could do it safely," Smith said.

The bar reopened on the day Colorado made every adult eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Smith said he's already fully vaccinated because he is a teacher. 

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"It is primarily the peace of mind that you can sit where you are and not be worrying about who else in the bar might be transmitting COVID," he said. 

Smith explained it was not a hard decision to make. He felt it was the right thing to do. 

"It is great for me to know my employees are not going to be in danger," he said. "I am not going to be in danger. And for me, more importantly, I am not going to put other people who I interact with in danger."

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Smith became the owner of Bar Max in the fall of 2019. Businesses were forced to close down just a few months later. 

"I am still close to permanently closing but hopefully this will start bringing revenue back through the door," he said. "If so, that will keep me going until more and more folks are getting vaccinated and we can have more folks in here."

Bar Max still plans to enforce social distancing guidelines inside.

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